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Ashburton Forks Railway Open Day 2019

On the weekend of May 11th & 12th in conjunction with Wheels Week we opened up the Railway to the Public to raise money for the Balamban Primary School in the Philippines. The weekend was a great success with ove 250 adults & 150 kids viewing the Railway. We had our OO scale layout operating as well, my whole family were roped in for the weekend with a couple of close friends helping out running trains. We had one track power on the main line with a battery following to give 2 train running, in the shed the new shuttle was going with the loco yard working along with a shunt going onto the main. So plenty of movement & sound going on.

Above Left; The OO layout was an added atraction & interest due to the size difference to the kids & bought back alot of memories for some adults. Above Right; One of the visiting European battery trains doing the rounds. Below Left; The Railway Crossing gave a great chance for young & old to interact with the trains. Below Right; Another highlight & talking point was the Circus Train which ran all day on the Saturday and was rostered on in the shed on the Sunday.

Above; So many Heart warming sights over the weekend with the kids smiling from ear to ear.

We would like to take this chance to thank all those who visited us over the weekend & hoped you enjoyed the Railway, with the positive coments & feedback we hope to do it all again in the summer. I have also had word from the school & the money raised has bought shoes, socks, uniforms, stationary, art supplies, pens and other schooling items for the 45 new 1st year students starting this year. So once again on behalf of the Balamban Primary School Thank You All very much for making this happen..... :-)

Tinwald School Wheels Week Model Show May 2014

Late afternoon on 16th of May 2 of us G-Scalers & my 2 daughters set up a display track for the Tinwald Schools Wheels Week Model display ready for the Saturdays Show, we had trains running in under 3 hours which included cleaning the track. The event was to raise money for the school with a gold coin donatiion to get in, there were all sorts of models on display & was well worth a look. There was a steady stream of people through in the 5 hour display & there is talk of making it a 2 day event next year. As usual the pack up was alot quicker with the 2 hours but the event was well worth the effort with the looks on kids faces & even some parents faces when they asked certain questions about the hobby!! 

Above Left; The finished result after 3 hours of setting up!!! The outer circuit was American, Middle was European & Inner was Thomas!!! Above Right; Some of the diecast tractors on display, there was also alot of Catapiller equipment of different scales too!

Above Left; Thomas proved popular as ever! I must mention that all the pictures were taken by my daughters 6 & 7 yrs old. Above Right; Looking toward the door with war gaming table in the fore ground & lego, racing cars etc on the back table.

Above; Just a general view of the layout! Toward the back you can see the engine shed up on its end to show the inside detail.

Timaru Train Show July 2013

On the 20th & 21st of July some of AFRs rolling stock headed south to Timaru for there Biannual Train show. I was running as part of the Christchurch Garden Railway Society display. (Guess who forgot there camera! All the following photos are taken by Glen Anthony, thanks Glen).

Above Left; A fantastic display of lego, this I believe takes hours to set up, it is always a hit with the kids. 

Above Right; One of the smallest scales on display is this T Gauge layout, this was the scale that was pictured on Ab 730's running board (bottom of page). 

Above Left; N Scale has a strong following in Timaru here is a great European example. Above Right; Our display took 3 circuits with passing loops on each with the odd siding. We had a good selection by our members with American, European, Circus & thomas with his friends. Thomas & Friends were popular with the kids as always but this time we had a circus train doing the rounds which really created alot of interest.

Above Left; There she sits'Ja1268', she had Thomas & friends running rings round her the whole weekend. 

Above Right; Looking back the other way, in all we all had a very enjoyable weekend.

Above Left; A N scale quarry on the corner of a large layout. Above Right; Glen Anthonys 'The Stamping Ground Gn15 Layout operated by a couple of club members'. This is a fantastic layout with a lot going on in it! More can be seen here http://www.trainweb.org/nzgr/Gn15/Gn15.html it is really worth a look!!

AFR Hosts the December 2012 CGRS Meeting

Ashburton Forks Railway was the December destination for the Christchurch Garden Railway Society members Monthly meeting, we started at 11am & concluded at 4pm. The day was perfect for the running of trains, with a great selection set to run the rails here is a selection of only a few!!

Above Left; From the smallest a MDC Little Hustler lines up with a rake of mining hoppers to do a circuit this looked the part disappearing behind the plants & re-appearing a couple of metres further along the track.  Above Right; To the Biggest an Aristo-Craft 2-8-2-2-8-2 Mallet the biggest loco to ever run on AFR rails this to was a impressive site with a rake of Bachmann wooden reefers & hoopers in tow, on board was a Phoenix Sound system which really added to the realism.

Above Left; One of  high-lites of the day was the Fiat Twin Set Railcar finally making an appearance on the Railway, I have seen this run on so many other railways & at last it was our turn!!! Above Right; White Pass was the theme of the day with this make up of all White Pass Rolling stock powering around the track.

Above Left; A NZR Tr battery controlled loco with train visiting us again appearing around the corner with some of the higher plantings as a back drop. Above Right; "White Pass" was a theme for the day & a call went out to members to bring the LGB Alco if they had one so we could attempt to get as many as possible running in one go. Here is the result, 6 Alcos on the move around the garden, what a site! It would have been 7 if I had put Dg2330 on!!! After all she did start out as an Alco until the day it met the 'HACKSAW'.

The day was a success with alot of members bringing there partners & kids which resulted in a great family atmosphere being created, Thanks to all that attended to make this happen!  


2012 NZ Garden Railway Convention Visits AFR!

The Ashburton Forks Railway was lucky enough to host the 2012 NZ Garden Railway Convention as a layout visit, we planned to run Scratch Built & Freelance for the afternoon. We were lucky with the weather a sunny day of 26 degrees one of the warmest this summer!! Visitors arrived about 3.30-ish, once everyone arrived a welcome & history of the railway talk was given, then the trains were run.

Above Left; The welcome talk, visitors came from far North as Auckland & South as Mosgiel. One Chap bought a electronic measuring device which he tow behind a loco, so the offical distance of the line is 110.6 metres!! Above Right & Below Left; Wellington modeller John Robinson bought his Dubs A down, so the Dubs A's meet again!! Below Right; Rogers Q17 is seen here on the mainline following the Dubs A Special.

I must thank Glen Anthony & John Robinson for the Convention photos, as I forgot to take pictures yet again!! 

The Plains Railway 40th Anniversary!

The AFR was approached by the Plains to put on a working display featuring of course Thomas & Friends for their big weekend. With help from Andy & borrowing a bit more track to fill the area I think we succeeded. We had a double track oval with a passing loop on each track, the outer was longer on which we ran NZR & USA trains with the inner being Thomas all weekend. We also had a small radius oval down one end which ran 0-4-0's & small wheel based stock. Andy used his Life-Like Rail-Road crossing with operating lights & crossing arms, this proved a hit with the kids, with them just laying there watching them go up & down! The Palmers also gave us some scratch built signals & station a platform to use on the weekend. It was a great turn out, with everyone showing a great deal of interest for the size of the trains & of course that blue engine & friends!!! Thanks to all those that helped us put on a good display.

Above Left; Looking towards 1 of the entrances where at the far end was a display table with NZR models on, work table to the right in the middle & another display table with European-USA models on. Note the crossing in the foreground first time I had ever seen one working & was impressed by it & so were the kids! Above Right; Looking the other way with the station being the point of interest in the middle! You may also note the people-barriers which AFR had constructed previous month!! 

Christchurch Train Show October 2011

On the 8th & 9th of October AFR was on the move once again this time North to Christchurch the car was full with the Thomas Range to keep the kids amused & A62 with NZR snow plow. It was a similar set up to Timaru but a passing loop & siding was added to the inner Thomas track. As usual Thomas stole the attention of the younger generation hopefully attracting a few more to the hobby!

Above; The two A's unite!! John Robinson looks on at the locos.

The highlight for me was meeting up with another Dubs A maker who hails from Wellington, he has made a great job of this loco in the style of New Zealand bush tram way/logging! More on this meet up in the  {Picture Gallery} section. 


Above Left; Thomas passing James with a USA Trains GP-30 in the background. Above Right; Myself & John comparing building methods used in constructing our A locos!



Timaru Train Show July 2011

On the 30th & 31st of July some of AFRs rolling stock headed south to Timaru for there Biannual Train show. I was running as part of the Christchurch Garden Railway Society display, Ab730 & F72 with a train of NZR rolling stock were displayed (Ran for an hour before the doors opened) but the main attraction as far as the kids go was Thomas, Percy & James. Members of the club ran double track circuit with there trains & Thomas & Friends were running on a seperate one insde the double circuit. One wee boy & her mother were sitting watching for at least 4 hours, was great to see all the young ones taking an interest.

Above Left; Saturday 30th. Selection of rolling stock on display & running form club & AFR. Above Right; Hopefully some up & comming modellers to the hobby looking on!!


Above Left; Sunday 31st. A special 1 hour run before the doors opened, F72 at the head of her train passing Ab730 getting ready for her run.  Above Right; Ab & F double heading for a photo run by. What these pictures don't show is the 4 or 5 other exhibitors laying on the floor getting pictures & saying "run these all day & leave Thomas in the siding!" but we have to listen to our up & comming modellers, the Kids.

Above; Here is an unusual shot of my 1:24 Ab730 & sitting on her running board is 5 coaches in T Gauge, I believe it is half the size of Z gauge. This small stuff if fully functional & runs on track with a gauge of 3mm between the rails compared to my 45mm, simply amazing.


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